A parliamentary inquiry into the health impacts of the smoke created during last year's Black Summer bushfires has recommended creating a fleet of mobile drones to monitor air quality around the country.
Bushfire survivors say they are still suffering the health effects of last year's deadly blazes.
A report issued by NSW parliament on Wednesday said residents of NSW suffered air pollution up to 11 times safe levels during last year's fires.
Citing modeling, it found that around 420 people died as a result of smoke-related medical ailments across NSW. Just 33 people were directly killed by the flames.
"While the long term health impacts of this exposure are not yet known, the health effects of inhaling [smoke particle] PM2.5 are well documented," the report read.
Other towns closer to bushfires in the region like Glen Innes and Tenterfield likely would have measured air quality as bad or worse - but didn't have local smoke measuring stations.
The report recommended the development of additional stationary stations, particularly in regional NSW.
It also suggested "the enhanced use of mobile sensors, including unmanned aerial vehicles, that can be rapidly deployed and relocated as required".
Some mobile sensor stations were used in parts of NSW, but not in the Northern Tablelands area, the report said.
The parliamentary committee was assured by public servants that a new clean air strategy would be finalised in early 2021.
Committee Chair Greg Donnelly said the inquiry demonstrated the economic and health burden the state would face if it did not do more to manage these risks in the future.
"With the next bushfire season on our doorstep, we must learn from our past experiences and implement improvements and continue our work in this area," he said.
In a dissenting statement NSW Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann said the NSW government ought to take further steps to halt climate change, to reduce the risk of bushfire in the first place.
Homes were destroyed across the New England and Northern Tablelands last year, with lives lost in fires near Glen Innes and Tenterfield.
Cleanup efforts in the wrecked villages of Wytaliba and Torrington have concluded.