07/02/2015 07:23 EDT | Updated 07/02/2016 05:59 EDT

Wildfire forces B.C. mayor to issue evacuation order for oil and gas facility

FORT NELSON, B.C. - A municipality in northeastern British Columbia has declared a local state of emergency and issued an evacuation order for an oil and gas facility due to a nearby wildfire.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says the lightning-sparked Petitot River Fire was discovered on June 24, is burning about 115 kilometres northeast of Fort Nelson and is now nearly 33 square kilometres in size.

Fort Nelson Mayor Bill Streeper says it poses a threat and danger to both property and people.

The Wildfire Service says the evacuation order affects about 15 people, and while the fire is being monitored it's not currently being suppressed.

Thirty-six wildfires are now burning in the province's northeast, and the service says all but two of the 15 blazes that began on Wednesday alone were started by lightning.

The service says a cold front and strong winds are expected to pass across the region in the next day so the fire situation could get worse.