The developer of a massive new community in East Naples will start another kind of burning Thursday.
Minto Communities LLC has been burning to clear land near Thomasson Drive and farther east off U.S. 41, to make way for its housing project, named the Isles of Collier Preserve.
Now, it will be doing what’s described as prescribed burns, which will remove exotics from the site.
The prescribed burns will be done Thursday and Friday and there will be more of them next week. But there won’t be any started over the weekend, said William Bullock, a vice president for Minto in Florida.
“It’s part of our environmental permit requirements,” he said.
These types of fires are done often in Southwest Florida to prevent big fires, including at the nearby Rookery Bay Reserve. Without them, “if you did get a lightning strike it would be a problem,” Bullock said.
Prescribed burns can also benefit native wildlife by creating new food sources through regrowth.
The burning and smoke from Minto’s clearing over the past few weeks have irritated nearby residents, who have complained about the smell and the threat to wildlife. Minto has recently taken extra steps to minimize the impact from those fires on residents.
The prescribed burns were scheduled before nearby residents complained about the other burning, and they will be done at the back of the property on the southeast corner, farther from Thomasson, Bullock said.
“You might not even see it,” he said.