A state of emergency has been declared by the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) as it battles more than 560 wildfires.

It will be in place across the entire western province for at least 14 days.

Hot and dry conditions, with a risk of thunderstorms in some parts of BC, are expected to continue over the coming days.

This is the second year in a row the province has battled significant wildfires on parts of its territory.

Over 3,000 people are under evacuation orders and another 18,700 are under evacuation alerts.

Fires are active throughout entire parts of the province.

"Public safety is always our first priority and, as wildfire activity is expected to increase, this is a progressive step in our wildfire response to make sure British Columbia has access to any and all resources necessary," said provincial Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth in a statement on Wednesday.

This is the second state of emergency in 15 years declared by the province over wildfires.

Last year, BC was under a 10-week state of emergency to deal with blazes that eventually burned through 1.2m hectares of the province.

Parts of the province's lower mainland and the city of Vancouver have been shrouded in smoke from the fires, prompting public health warnings.

On Monday, the province requested help from the federal government to battle the blazes.

BC firefighters are also getting help from colleagues from other Canadian provinces as well as from fire crews from Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand.

BC experiences up to 2,000 wildfires a year but the majority are contained within 24 hours.