(New throughout with details from provincial minister, details on oil and gas companies in paragraphs 7-9)

OTTAWA, May 13 (Reuters) -

Firefighters on Monday battled a large wildfire heading towards a remote western Canadian town as winds and tinder dry conditions threatened to spread the flames further, a provincial minister said.

The largely evacuated town of Fort Nelson in British Columbia is in the line of one of the season's first major wildfires that have spread to 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) across Western Canada and are sending smoke plumes over five provinces, as well as parts of the northern U.S.

Bowinn Ma, British Columbia's minister of emergency management and climate readiness, said conditions in the north of the Pacific province - an area that includes Fort Nelson - were extremely challenging.

"With no major precipitation in the forecast ahead and winds that can they can pick up at any time, we ... are extremely concerned," she told a televised briefing. "We may begin to see volatile wildfire activity later this afternoon."

The fire, which started on Friday, covered over 5,280 hectares (13,050 acres) and had reached 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) west of Fort Nelson by Monday morning.

After its worst-ever-wildfire season last year, Canada experienced one of its warmest winters with low to non-existent snow in many areas, raising fears of a hot summer triggering blazes in forests and wild lands amid an ongoing drought.

Northeastern British Columbia and the northern region of neighboring Alberta are the heartland of Canada's energy industry. There have been no reports of any disruption to oil and gas extraction.

"Operations are safely continuing on our pipelines systems and we continue to closely monitor as the situation is dynamic," TC Energy, a major pipeline company, said on Monday.

In Alberta, authorities said there were two wildfires of note, including one near the major oil town of

Fort McMurray

. In 2016, a huge wildfire in Fort McMurray forced the evacuation of 90,000 residents and shut in more than a million barrels per day of oil output.

Residents were placed on an evacuation alert on Friday, though favorable weather conditions have kept the fire about 16 km away, Alberta officials said on Monday. Light rain showers were expected to aid firefighting later in the day, they said.

The federal government last month said Canada faces another catastrophic wildfire season as it forecast higher-than-normal spring and summer temperatures across much of the country, boosted by El Nino weather conditions.

As of Sunday, there were some 143 active blazes across Canada, including 39 deemed out of control, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre.

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil and Nia Williams; Editing by David Ljunggren and Marguerita Choy)