07/11/2014 09:23 EDT | Updated 09/10/2014 05:59 EDT

B.C. heat wave on its way

The hot, dry summer forecast for B.C. has finally kicked into full gear, with high temperatures advancing across the province for the next seven days.

Forecasters say a ridge of high pressure is pushing warm weather up the coast. Temperatures will rise throughout the week and are set to peak on Wednesday.

David Jones, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, warns that people acclimatized to more temperate coastal temperatures may not tolerate the heat as well as those living in the province’s more usual hot spots.

“Here on the coast we’re not nearly as adapted to the heat as folks are in the Interior,” says Jones.

Jones warns that the heat can have adverse health effects depending on a person’s age and health condition. The hot, stagnant air can also decrease air quality.

Weather officials will be monitoring temperatures as they rise throughout the week.

A sustained heat wave in 2009 led officials to identify a heat threshold for health risks, which they will be watching for over the next few days.

"Once we reach a certain criteria — that is the mid-30s temperature, in there — there starts to be an impact on mortality,” says Jones.

According to Jones, thunderstorms are forecast to reach the Fraser Valley from Washington State this weekend. These could spark more wildfires in the province.

There are currently 15 wildfires burning across the province. The largest one, in northeastern B.C. near Red Deer Creek, is over 5,000 hectares wide.