The menace peat fires posed to farming is described in this 1946 newsreel. Peatlands, formed of slowly decomposing plant material, could burn underground if fire from farm burnoffs spread down through tree roots. Peat fires were once a regular occurrence in farmland around Hamilton.
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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: Weekly Review 237. National Film Unit, 1946
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