String of blazes takes toll on Texas firefighters

By ANDREW DeMILLO | September 10, 2011 | 2:15 PM EDT

Firefighter Frank Buentello holds onto a pet dog he found while working a hot spot with a rake on the smoldering wildfire near Bastrop, Texas, Friday, Sept. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

BASTROP, Texas (AP) — The flames of the massive wildfire that have swallowed nearly 1,400 homes in Central Texas are being tamed. But firefighters fatigued by months of battling blazes in the state say the danger doesn't end there.

Webster Fire Chief Patrick Shipp and his firefighters are veterans of a fire season that's pushing them to the limit. Shipp has been deployed two other times from his home. He's among the scores from around the state and nation who've spent the past several months battling the worst wildfire outbreak in state history.

And the problems may not be over.

Weather experts say the La Nina climate pattern will likely sustain the dry, windy conditions that are so crucial to sparking and sustaining dangerous fires.