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How an air attack on the 'East Desert Fire' is crucial to stop the spread

Hundreds of firefighters are battling the "East Desert Fire" that began in north Phoenix Sunday and now grew closer to Cave Creek, evacuating more than 100 residents from their homes early Monday morning.

The fire began Sunday and grew to 1,500 acres by Monday with a 50% containment.

RELATED: Mandatory evacuations ordered for Cave Creek after 'East Desert Fire' grows to 1,500 acres

Not only are crews battling the fire from the ground, but from the air too, a critical method to control this fire.

The purpose for an air attack is to get into those areas that will take firefighters hours to get to, fire officials explain.

It also gives the ability to allow crews time to get a game plan together to be able to figure out what they're going to do next.

Five drops of fire retardant were made by Monday afternoon over the growing fire.

Chris Price, U.S. Forest Service Tanker Base Manager at Gateway Tanker Base says the retardant "self suppresses the fire and does what it normally does, so when you add the other chemicals that go into that, it allows it to stay longer and it also allows it to adhere to the foliage so it sticks around a lot longer than water would."

There's no word yet if more air attacks will happen Monday.