Authorities have ordered residents to stay indoors and shut windows in parts of a central Spanish town as a fire at a major tire dump spread a spectacular cloud of thick black smoke across an area south of Madrid.

Sesena town mayor Carlos Velazquez told Cadena Ser radio that residents in three districts had been asked to stay at home until the fire was extinguished and the smoke dispersed.

Police said classes at one school had been canceled. Authorities urged drivers on nearby roads to close their windows.

Velazquez said the fire appeared to have been started intentionally Friday.

Some 10 firefighter units were sent to extinguish the blaze at the dump located some 35 kilometers (22 miles) south of the capital.