Ford Donates A Firefighting Bronco To Battle Wildfires in National Parks
Wildfires are as dangerous as they are unpredictable. In an effort to aid the National Park Service to ward off and extinguish these fires, Ford has donated a specialized Bronco Badlands SUV complete with the Sasquatch off-road package to the Bandelier National Monument two hours north of Albuquerque, New Mexico as an off-roading 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,” says Ford Enthusiast Brand Manager Dave Rivers Bronco in a statement. “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.”
This specialized Bronco wildland firefighting command rig is being donated to the National Monument through the Ford Bronco Wild Fund, which is an organization whose mission is to increase access, preservation, and care for public lands. So far, the Bronco Wild Fund has managed to donate over $3.7 million to multiple causes, including America’s State Parks, the National Forest Foundation, Outward Bound, and Sons of Smokey.
Why Does This Land Require an Off-Roadking Fire Vehicle?
Because two-thirds of the Bandelier National Monument is untouched wilderness, it means that there is little to no infrastructure to allow anyone easy access, especially in the event of a wildfire. However, this firefighting Bronco aims to improve Bandelier’s fire squad thanks to its high standard of off-roading capabilities.
“I want to thank Ford for this generous donation. Over the last 20 years, warmer temperatures and stronger winds have resulted in bigger fires that are harder to predict and manage,” says Patrick Suddath, Superintendent of Bandelier National Monument. “These more resource-intensive fires have a real impact on Bandelier’s firefighting corps, and this donation will help us manage fires better. It will also help to minimize impact to the park’s affiliated tribes, who have traditionally used park land for cultural, economic, and spiritual reasons.
Because the 33,000-acre land consists of rugged canyons, mesas, and cliffs that contain ancient human petroglyphs dating back 11,000 years, preserving these historical and cultural sites of the American Southwest is a high priority for the park’s stewards. Because this park also has a history of natural fire outbreaks, keeping these fires at bay while tending to the landscape is necessary.
What Kind of Gear Comes with This Wildfire-Fighting Bronco?
To help battle these wildfires, this firefighting Bronco is outfitted with an arsenal of equipment that allows the park to monitor and manage active fires, and provide real-time updates on fire location and severity, as well as other forms of firefighting support. Some of the specialized tech to improve efficiency when battling wildfires featured on this SUV includes:
- State-of-the-art government communication system
- Satellite and Antenna connectivity
- Drone with live video feed and specialized software to provide aerial reconnaissance for first response teams
- Tablet computer
“The Bronco wildland firefighting command rig is like the ultimate communications hub with G.O.A.T. modes®,” says Rivers. “It’s a four-door mountain goat made to carry firefighting rangers so they can quickly coordinate where emergency units need to be.”
This Bronco also includes some heavy-duty hardware to help get it through the most difficult natural terrain, such as:
- Grille guard
- Warn winch
- Set of Beadlock wheels
- Light bar outfitted to the roof rack
- Emergency Lights