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Ford Bronco Badlands donated for wildfire response at Bandelier National Monument


In response to the increasing threat of wildfires, a highly customized Ford Bronco Badlands will be donated to the National Park Service. This specialized vehicle will serve as a firefighting command vehicle at Bandelier National Monument, providing  support in fire management operations.

Ford Bronco Badlands customized for fire management

The Ford Bronco Badlands with the Sasquatch package will be equipped with an array of equipment to enhance fire monitoring and management, including tools for identifying fires, real-time updates on fire location and severity, and additional firefighting support through Darley, a global manufacturer of defense and fire and rescue vehicles.

The rig will feature a state-of-the-art government communication system with satellite and antenna connections. It will have integrated technology to enable firefighters to establish a real-time backcountry command and control position, while a drone with live feed screens, tablet computers, and special software will provide improved aerial reconnaissance, detection capabilities, and situational awareness.

These advanced solutions prioritize the safety of operations during wildland fires and other domestic disaster situations.

Dave Rivers, Ford enthusiast brand manager, described the Bronco wildland firefighting command rig as the ultimate communications hub with G.O.A.T. modes, emphasizing its ability to navigate rugged terrains and efficiently transport firefighting rangers for effective coordination of emergency units. The vehicle will feature additional specialized hardware, including a grille guard, a factory-installed Warn winch, a set of beadlock wheels, and a roof rack equipped with a light bar, searchlights, emergency lights, and a siren.

The Impact of the Bronco Wild Fund

The Bronco wildland firefighting command rig is is being donated through the Ford Bronco Wild Fund, an initiative dedicated to enhancing access, preservation, and stewardship of public lands. The fund aligns with Ford’s commitment to building a sustainable and inclusive future, with a deep respect for our public lands. Through the Bronco Wild Fund, over $3.7 million has been donated to diverse causes, including organizations like America’s State Parks, National Forest Foundation, Outward Bound, and Sons of Smokey.

Bandelier National Monument and the Need for Fire Management

Bandelier National Monument, spanning 33,000 acres in northern New Mexico, features rugged canyons, mesas, petroglyphs, and cliff dwellings with a history dating back over 11,000 years. Located in the transition zone of the high desert of the American Southwest, the park has been a hotspot for observing and studying the rapid effects of climate change. With the fire season growing longer, Bandelier is experiencing more frequent and severe fires. The donation of the Bronco wildland firefighting command rig will aid in managing these fires and minimize their impact on the park’s affiliated tribes, who have longstanding cultural, economic, and spiritual ties to the land.

Two-thirds of Bandelier is designated wilderness, making it challenging to access and lacking infrastructure. The Bronco wildland firefighting command rig will strengthen Bandelier’s fire fleet and expand their current capabilities. This donation is the first of two Bronco vehicles being developed by Darley for donation to the National Park Service and a wildland firefighting agency. The pilot program aims to address an unmet need by providing a command position with reliable connectivity and facilitating the acquisition and sharing of critical information to aid firefighters.

The official handover of the Bronco wildland firefighting command rig to the National Park Service will take place at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at Bandelier National Monument.

The bottom line

This is pretty darn cool for both Ford and the National Park Service. Sure it generates positive PR for both of the organizations, however, it also delivers a pretty great rig that the NPS can put to use without spending public tax dollars to build on their own.

Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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