07/26/2013 17:23 EDT | Updated 09/25/2013 05:12 EDT

Extreme fire danger rating expanding across B.C.

With Vancouver on track to have its driest July on record, officials are warning that the fire risk is high and extreme for many parts of southern B.C., adding that there could also be overnight wind gusts on southern lakes.

Rangers have stepped up patrols at Stanley Park and other parks around the province to ensure that nobody smokes or engages in other dangerous fire behaviour.

Meanwhile, weather officials are warning of gusty winds overnight that could catch boaters and campers off guard at lakes in B.C.'s southern interior.

"Gusts over the water may approach 50 km/h in some areas," said a statement from Environment Canada.

"Everyone enjoying the outdoors should diligently monitor the local wind conditions, which will vary dramatically in strength and direction from lake to lake," it added.