On the tail-end of a sweltering heat wave in B.C., sights are now turning to a cold front sweeping across the north, starting Wednesday.

A mass of cold air is expected to generate strong winds, thunderstorms and dry lightning, which has BC Wildfire Service officials concerned for the coming days ahead.

With the recent heat wave, coupled with years-long drought conditions, officials said more wildfires starts and increased wildfire activity is certainly possible, especially in northern and northeastern B.C.

“New wildfire starts are anticipated, particularly in northern regions. We are prepared to respond to new wildfires and increased wildfire activity,” the service warned.

“Southern portions of B.C. will be less impacted by the cold front across northern regions this week, although the Southern and Central Interior may experience increased winds and isolated dry lightning.”

Click to play video: 'B.C. heat wave increasing fire danger'

Currently, there are two “Wildfires of Note” burning in B.C.


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One is the Little Oliver Creek wildfire, burning northeast of Terrace. It’s an estimated 130 hectares and is burning out of control.

The wildfire is a 35-minute drive from Terrace, going up Highway 16. Smoke is highly visible in the area, BC Wildfire officials said. It is suspected to be human-caused.

There is one attack crew one five-pack crew and one officer responding to the fire.

The second is far up north, near the B.C.-Yukon border — the Hook Creek wildfire.

It’s an estimated 240 hectares and is also highly visible. This fire is being tackled by both BC Wildfire Service crews and Yukon Wildfire personnel.

There is one BC wildfire attack crew with two officers, and 26 Yukon wildfire officials.

Two helicopters are also working the blaze.

In an effort to keep wildfire starts at a minimum, the B.C. government will be banning campfires for the entire province starting on Friday, at 12 p.m.

The BC Wildfire Service said the complete ban across the province is necessary.

These prohibitions apply to all public and private land unless specified otherwise, according to the B.C. government — for example, in a local government bylaw.

Everyone is urged to check with local government authorities for any other restrictions and assess conditions before lighting any fires.

Click to play video: 'Heat wave expect to break in parts of B.C.'

— With files from Amy Judd, Simon Little