Customers asked to limit use of natural gas | Cranbrook, East Kootenay

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A pipeline has ruptured and sparked a massive fire north of Prince George.

"Enbridge emergency crews did respond and they have isolated and are finishing the pressurizing of the two natural gas lines in the vicinity to contain this incident and an area was cordoned off".

A large fireball was seen rising into the sky Tuesday from Shelley, B.C., a small community about 15 kilometres northeast of Prince George.

Puget Sound Energy, a USA energy company, is also asking customers in Washington state to help conserve natural gas and electricity because of B.C.'s pipeline rupture and the impact it has on the US gas supply.

People are asked to avoid non-essential gas use until the supply issue has been resolved.

The damaged pipeline connects to the Northwest Pipeline system, which feeds puget Sound Energy, and risks cutting off the flow of Canadian natural gas to Washington State.

Enbridge said it received NEB approval late Wednesday to restart its 76-centimetre line, which was shut down as a precaution because it is in the same path as the pipeline that exploded and burned. "They're going to monitor and oversee the company's response to the incident, and they're going to determine the impact and extent of the fire and release", Neufeld said. "So we are asking everybody to chip in", said Stout.

"FortisBC is requesting all of our natural gas customers across the province to turn off their thermostats as well as reduce use of all other natural gas appliances".

While everyone got out of the area safely, Teegee said it had been a stressful day that had taken an emotional toll. "We'll know better when we look at it ourselves".

Excess gas in the Okanagan and southeastern B.C. will be routed to the Lower Mainland, Stout said.

Yes. Stout said Fortis' industrial customers in B.C. are now under restrictions.

The pipeline is part of the T-South system, stretching over 1,000 kilometres from Chetwynd, B.C., to the USA border, which is why it impacts gas distribution across the province and into Washington.

Pipeline explosion north of Lheidli T'enneh reserve, we have all evacuated!

On Wednesday, the company reported that natural gas use province-wide has already dropped by 20 per cent - which helps buy time for repairs to be completed - but further reductions are needed.

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