A pipeline explosion near Prince George is impacting natural gas users across British Columbia.

The rupture was around 15 kilometres northeast of Prince George along an Enbridge natural gas line, which the gas utility said feeds into the provincial system.

Fortis BC Vice President of External Relations Doug Stout says in the aftermath of the incident, the company is expecting reduced energy flow, and a potential loss of service for close to 700,000 customers on the lower mainland and Vancouver Island.

Stout in order to manage the system and keep flowing as long as possible, natural gas customers are being asked to reduce their use of it.

“In order to manage the system and keep flowing as long as possible, we are asking everyone to reduce their use of natural gas. So, turn down your thermostat as low as possible, restrict the use of hot water from your natural gas water tank and minimize the use of cooking operations and turn off your fireplaces.”

The explosion took place around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, sparking a massive fireball that could be seen for miles.

A small evacuation zone is still in place around the explosion site, and investigators are looking in to what happened.