For over a century, Ford has been assisting with fire response and disaster relief efforts for its home country’s national parks through developing and building all-terrain response vehicles that allow National Parks Service personnel to traverse untamed terrain and transport goods and gear. The original Ford Bronco was widely used by the Parks Service, and the Blue Oval is doing everything in its power to make sure that the same will go for its recently revived take on the iconic off-roader. And after partnering with Filson in late 2020 to deliver a Bronco Wildland Fire Rig concept, the Michigan marque has now revealed its Bronco-based workhorse for the USNPS with its all-new Ford Bronco Wildland Frefighting Command Rig.
Done through the brand’s Bronco Wild Fund — an initiative of Ford’s that aims to “empower our organization, our Dealer Network & our communities to connect people to the outdoors, responsibly” — this firefighting rig is based on a 2023 Ford Bronco Badlands model that’s been outfitted with the Sasquatch off-road package. The project was created specifically for the National Park Service firefighters that protect the more than 33,000 acres of land surrounding the Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. In order to competently serve, the donor SUV was bestowed with a host of upgrades and modifications.
The rig was taken from its stock form and transformed into a go-anywhere firefighting vehicle by Darley, a manufacturer of defense, fire, and rescue vehicles. This transformation included the addition of front and rear locking differentials, 35” off-road tires, an integrated winch, an LED lighter, a roof-mounted emergency light rail, a roof rack, and a roof-mounted deployable drone. The interior of the rig has also been treated to an integrated satellite, cellular and radio-based communications equipment, and a tablet computer — all vital equipment for off-grid firefighting. The project’s finishing touch comes in the form of a classic white and red firefighting livery complete with official U.S. National Parks Service crests.
While this one-off factory-backed creation isn’t for sale, it does nonetheless demonstrate not only the new Bronco’s go-anywhere capabilities but also the vehicle’s immense conduciveness to customization and modifications. This vehicle also marks the first of two custom rigs that will be built by Darley — the second of which will presumably debut at some point over the coming months.