VANCOUVER -- The heat wave sending temperatures soaring across much of B.C. is expected to get worse over the weekend, prompting new heat warnings from Environment Canada.

The weather agency said an "exceptionally strong" ridge of high pressure could leave parts of the province dangerously hot from Friday until Tuesday.

"The duration of this heat wave is concerning as there is little relief at night with elevated overnight temperatures," reads a warning issued Wednesday afternoon.

"This record-breaking heat event will increase the potential for heat-related illnesses."

Warnings have been issued in most regions of the province, including Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Environment Canada said temperatures could reach as high as 38 degrees during the day in Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Hope – and stay as high as 20 degrees overnight.

The weather agency recommended that British Columbians drink plenty of water, find a cool place to stay, and check in with older family, friends and neighbours.

"Never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle," Wednesday's warning reads.

Symptoms of heat illness include dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, extreme thirst, and decreased urination with unusually dark urine.