CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Virginia forestry officials are urging caution this July 4th, with many areas of the state recording below-average rainfall and vulnerable to wildfires.

John Miller of the Virginia Department of Forestry says those areas are slowly drying out, meaning fireworks, bonfires or cookouts can easily torch brush and grass.

The director of the department's resource protection recommends that Virginians leave fireworks to the professionals.

The forestry department oversees nearly 16 million acres of forestland in Virginia.