Ford & Darley’s Bronco: Command Vehicle for Fighting Wildfires
Accurate information is an absolute necessity to achieve success in any skirmish. For this reason, Ford has designed their Bronco as a mobile command post for firefighting operations. Versatile enough to access difficult terrain, this equipped SUV will undoubtedly provide an invaluable service at the Bandelier National Monument of New Mexico. Of course, it’s much more than just a standard car adorned with red stickers.
Collaborating with Darley – a producer of fire and rescue automobiles, among other things – this Bronco begins as a Badlands model fitted with the Sasquatch package. In case you forgot, that adds an increased suspension and 35-inch tires for heightened off-roading. To further equip it for conquering the remote expanses of the 33,000-acre national monument, it’s been outfitted with a Warn winch, grille guard, and beadlock wheels.
Focusing on being a command center, the Bronco is not designed to handle firefighting operations directly. Instead, it features a selection of cutting-edge communication systems, such as military-grade radio and satellite connections. The components are situated at the rear of the second row of seats, yet there remains enough space to accommodate an advanced drone that can stream live images to the displays inside the SUV. Furthermore, a sophisticated software suite assists operators as they attempt to catch any fires in their infancy.
The Bronco was gifted to Bandelier National Monument through Ford’s Bronco Wild Fund. A second vehicle is now being designed that will be presented to an unidentified recipient, with the only detail being that it will be a “wildland firefighting agency.”
The conferment arrives when Canada is living through its most formidable wildfire time ever. According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center, Approximately 3,000 fires have been documented in the country since the beginning of the year, scorching nearly 19 million acres. As of June 28, 479 fires are alight, half of those held to be raging without control.
Focus has been brought to flames in the eastern provinces, causing a smokescreen leading to countless air contamination advisories throughout the midwestern US and the Great Lakes area. Motor1.com asked Ford about potential assistance for these blazes, yet a representative divulged that their Bronco Wild Fund is exclusive to the United States.
The area around the Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico is not impervious to the hazards of wild fires. In 2000, the Cerro Grande Fire flared up to an alarming 43,000 acres subsequent to a supervised burning within the reservation escaping control. Moreover, the La Mesa Fire of 1977 destroyed 15,000 acres, and again, in 1996, the Dome Fire consumed 16,000 acres. By far though, none of these could compare to the destructive effect of the Las Conchas Fire in 2011, containing 156,000 acres and impacting Bandelier drastically. Just recently, in 2020, the Calf Canyon/Hermets Peak Fire wildfire caused devastation to 341,000 acres of forest east of the park.