Health experts have warned that it is still too early to know what impact the region's consecutive days of smoke haze will have on long-term respiration.
Working six hours a day in the thick blankets of smoke during the first weeks of January, AJ Hanley Fencing owner Anthony Hanley admits the toll on his health was not something he considered at the time.
"It's not something you noticed too much, but you would get the watery eyes or the itchy throat. Thankfully I didn't cough much," Mr Hanley said.
"I haven't really put much thought into what it'd be doing [to my lungs], but I can't imagine it'd be too good."
At its worst, Wagga's air quality was sitting well into the hazardous zones. Neighbouring regions also registered high concentrations of hazardous air with Canberra and Goulburn both consistently registering the world's worst air quality.
This week, the state's legislative council announced it would host an inquiry into the health impacts in an effort to determine whether "the NSW government is doing enough to plan for and improve air quality".
The upper house is now inviting submissions from stakeholders and health experts ahead of the April hearings.
The inquiry has been welcomed by Murrumbidgee Health District's respiratory nurse Robyn Paton, who believes the focus must be on finding more accurate ways to monitor regional air quality in the future.
"I hope [the inquiry] will lead to meaningful data with recommendations for individual sites," Ms Paton said.
"What they experience on the coast will be different from what we have here in Wagga."
She now hopes this will be rectified by the inquiry and greater investment will be made to provide region-specific access to air quality monitoring equipment.
"I think it's always important to monitor the particulars in the atmosphere around us. We as a district are interested in, knowing what people are breathing in," Ms Paton said.
The more information that is made available, the greater understanding of how it will affect the region's lung health.
"It's difficult to say what the long term [effect] will be. We really haven't ever had this kind of smoke hanging around for as long as it has, as intensely as it has," Ms Paton said.
"It depends on how badly the lungs have been affected. Some people's body will naturally clear and be fine, others may have lingering side effects or it might develop into a sinus or chest infection."
Unfortunately, with fires still burning around the region, those who rely on outdoor work do not have the option to venture indoors away from the smoke.
"When you're the boss, you've got to get out there and get it done regardless of the weather," Mr Hanley said.
"Rain, smoke, whatever, you've got to get out there."