Two Spring Creek men set fire to wood around the base of a willow tree near the township and walked away leaving the fire burning with flames almost 2 metres high.
In the Blenheim District Court yesterday, Kevin Graham Ward-Watson, 19, a labourer of Spring Creek and Shannon Robert Ward, 21, admitted one charge each of wilful damage and were both ordered to pay $100 reparation and fined $300 plus court costs.
A third member of the group is yet to appear in court.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Lucas said the pair along with another man set fire to a pile of wood at the base of a willow tree on the Wairau River reserve off Bothams Bend Rd, Spring Creek about 5pm on August 26.
A Marlborough District Council parks and reserves officer saw flames about 1.8 metres high from the around the tree, which later fell over because of the damage it suffered, he said.
The officer called out to the two men as they walked away, but they ignored him, Mr Lucas said. The pair offered no explanation for why they set fire when they were arrested, he said.
Ward-Watson's defence lawyer Bryony Millar said he told her there was a lot of wood lying around the tree, so they decided to make a fire.
Ward's defence lawyer Kent Arnott said his client had not seen the officer at first as he walked away, but accepted he carried on after seeing him.
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