HAWKINS, Texas (AP) Officials say toxic smoke from a massive tire fire has forced officials to evacuate residents and close schools in the small East Texas town of Hawkins.

Hawkins police Lt. A.J. Randell said Tuesday that firefighters had contained the fire that started Monday night and was consuming about 40,000 tires.

Randell said about 400 people in the town of 1,500 had been cleared out by midmorning as officials went door-to-door telling residents to evacuate. He said the local nursing home also was being evacuated.

There were no reports of injuries.

Randell said the fire was being investigated as arson. He said the tire lot had been unattended for about a year.

Hawkins is about 100 miles east of Dallas.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.