The blaze broke out at a go-kart track near the centre of the West Yorkshire city in the early hours of Monday morning.
Dramatic images shared on social media showed smoke and flames billowing across the city's skyline as about 100 firefighters in 15 fire engines tackled the inferno on Upper Castle Street.
It is thought about 8,000 tyres were involved in the fire, which has caused traffic chaos as rail services into Bradford Interchange have been cancelled or diverted and roads in the area have been closed.
Bradford Council said three schools in the area — Bronte Girls Academy, Rainbow Primary and Dixons City Academy — would be closed following advice from the fire service.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Due to the large amount of smoke, we're continuing to advise all residents to the east of the incident — East Bowling — to keep windows and doors shut.
"We're also asking people to please avoid travelling through this area. All persons are accounted for."
He said police had closed a number of roads in the area and "train services running through the Bradford Interchange station have been cancelled or diverted".
Northern Rail tweeted: "A large fire at a go-kart track next to the railway at Bradford Interchange is on fire.
"Around 8,000 tyres and railway equipment are at risk from the fire which is around 50 metres from the railway."
The train operator added: "Due to a fire on property near the railway at Bradford Interchange all lines are blocked.
"Train services running through this station have been cancelled or diverted. Disruption is expected until 9am."
Additional reporting by agencies
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies