Ford Donates Special Edition Bronco to National Park Service for Wildfire Management
As wildfire threats continue to rise, the Ford Motor Company in association with the Bronco Wild Fund, have stepped up their efforts to combat them. The duo has generously donated a Bronco Badlands® SUV, enhanced with the Sasquatch® off-road package, to the National Park Service. The SUV is set to be deployed at Bandelier National Monument, serving as a vital firefighting command vehicle.
“For more than a century Ford has supported fire response and disaster relief efforts by deploying vehicles to provide emergency transportation and power and deliver essential goods. Bronco Wild Fund was created because of our passion for the outdoors, and we’re excited to donate the Bronco wildland firefighting command rig to Bandelier to help protect this National Monument for generations to come," said Dave Rivers, Ford Enthusiast Brand Manager.
The Bronco command rig, inspired by the Bronco + Filson Wildland Fire Rig Concept, is gifted via the Ford Bronco Wild Fund. This fund is committed to public land access, preservation, and stewardship. In line with Ford’s "The Road to Better" initiative, the Bronco Wild Fund epitomizes respect for public lands and unwavering dedication to their preservation. It has so far donated over $3.7 million to various causes, including organizations such as America’s State Parks, National Forest Foundation, Outward Bound, and Sons of Smokey.
Bandelier National Monument, a 33,000-acre treasure in northern New Mexico, hosts a unique environment enriched with petroglyphs, cliff dwellings, and traces of human presence dating back over 11,000 years. This park is witnessing the harsh effects of climate change, marked by an increase in natural fire occurrences and longer fire seasons.
Patrick Suddath, Superintendent of Bandelier National Monument, expressed his gratitude towards Ford for their significant contribution. He emphasized how rising temperatures and wind patterns have led to larger, more unpredictable fires that put increased strain on Bandelier's firefighting resources. This donation will greatly enhance fire management capabilities while minimizing impact on affiliated tribes who traditionally use the park land for cultural, economic, and spiritual purposes.
Bandelier's two-thirds wilderness designation makes accessibility challenging. The new Bronco command rig will bolster Bandelier's fire fleet and enhance its operational capabilities.
This Bronco is the first of two vehicles being developed by Darley for donation to the National Park Services. Darley, a global manufacturer of defense, fire, and rescue vehicles, is customizing the vehicles. The intent of this program is to provide a tool that addresses unmet needs, such as reliable and redundant connectivity and information acquisition and sharing to assist firefighters.
The vehicle is equipped with a comprehensive set of tools to assist in monitoring and managing active fires. These include a top-notch government communication system with satellite and antenna connections for reliable operations in remote areas, and a drone for improved aerial reconnaissance and situational awareness. Dave Rivers, from Ford, describes the command rig as the "ultimate communications hub with G.O.A.T. modes®," a vehicle designed to swiftly carry firefighting rangers to their desired locations.
Additional specialized hardware includes a grille guard, a factory-installed Warn winch, beadlock wheels, and a roof rack fitted with a light bar, search and emergency lights, and siren.
Image Credit: Ford