Fire crews have contained a stubborn fire at an abandoned tire dump in the small East Texas town of Hawkins.

An Environmental Protection Agency spokesman says residents urged to evacuate were told they could return home Wednesday.

The EPA's Dave Bary says officials hope to have the fire that started late Monday night extinguished by Wednesday afternoon.

There were no reports of injuries from the fire involving about 150,000 tires that state officials ordered removed years ago. The fire emitted toxic smoke that forced the evacuation of most residents in the town of about 1,500 and closed down its schools.

Dan Rose, Hawkins school district superintendent, said students would return to school on Thursday.

The fire at Foster & Son's Scrap Tire Service was being investigated as arson. The site contains millions of tires.