Blatant, brazen vandalism

A Kelowna man who cut down a tree and chainsawed his way out of Knox Mountain will face thousands of dollars in fines.

The City of Kelowna said they are still working on the exact amount of fines, but that they will be applying the Municipal Property Tree Bylaw.

“We can apply a fine up to $2,000, plus the value of the tree,” said Andrew Hunsberger, City of Kelowna Urban Forestry Supervisor.

Two Kelowna men, in their mid-20s, were arrested on Friday night after residents heard them chainsawing down a tree and cutting through the fence at about 10:30 p.m.

Hunsberger said the entire situation is terribly saddening.

“Any kind of vandalism in our park hurts everyone,” he said. ““It’s terribly saddening that someone would cut beautiful trees and destroy our park that is shared by all of the residents.”

Fines could be closer to $5,000 once the damage to the fence and cost to replace the tree are factored in.

“This is all applied through the bylaw department with the City of Kelowna and then as far as the cutting of the fence that is applied by the city through the risk management department,” said Hunsberger.

Kelowna RCMP did arrest the two men involved, but released them without charge.

Hunsberger said they have never had someone be this blatant and brazen before. Rocks and barricades were put in place after a prior incident and they will now consider new ways to replace them.

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