FOR some the threat of February's Black Saturday bushfires lasted days, but peat fires on Bob Hewitt's farm lasted months. After more than four months, the Weerite farmer was relieved last week when the smouldering paddocks around his property finally extinguished with drenching winter rain.Mr Hewitt said peat was an excellent conductor of heat which meant dousing the fire was an exhaustive process. "We probably applied 40 truckloads of water to the peat in the immediate week following Black Saturday," he said. "From then on, I was pumping about 2000 gallons of water an hour around the clock for more than a week just to keep it under control."Some days you'd think it was right and that the water had soaked in enough to dampen the peat but a couple days later it would light back up again."Only five acres of Mr Hewitt's 97-acre farm was spared from the flames that scorched several properties in the Pomborneit and Weerite districts. Major excavation works have taken place on the property in recent months to stifle the ember-riddled peat."For two to three weeks after the initial fires on Black Saturday, you had to keep your eye on the ball so I didn't get much sleep during that time," Mr Hewitt said."The worst part was the dust and ash that came off the peat while the fire was smouldering, which meant that our house was smoked out on some days."Mr Hewitt said the surface peat had become dry as a result of the blaze's intense heat."Some of the top soil peat has become marbly, which was where the fire did the most damage but underneath it's still viable," he said."The heat produced by the fire would have to be in the hundreds of degrees to turn the peat that reddy colour."