Like an excited child playing with the build-your-own kit they got for Christmas, Ford continues having fun with the all-new Bronco. Following up on the Bronco Overland concept, which itself followed a separate quartet of outdoorsy Bronco concepts, Ford has teamed up with outdoor outfitter Filson to create the Bronco + Filson Wildland Fire Rig concept. The thoroughly upgraded Bronco celebrates the hard work wildfire fighters put in every year, and especially this year, while highlighting how the market’s newest ruggedized body-on-frame 4×4 can help teams douse flames and complete other essential tasks on and off road.
Ford and Filson’s team-up comes against the backdrop of one of the worst wildfire seasons in US history. The companies are looking to raise public awareness about fire prevention as well as money for the National Forest Foundation’s reforestation programs. The Wildland Fire Rig is a particularly visible part of the effort.
The new Bronco rig is inspired by classic US Forest Service Broncos, from which it derives its minty-fresh Forest Service Green paint. Based on the most rugged Bronco spec – the Badlands trim with Sasquatch Package, the rig’s load area fills out with a full complement of fire-fighting equipment, including a fire/rescue transport skid, fire hose reel, high-pressure water pump and 189-L water tank. A beefy custom rack extends over the top of the roof and carries a Pulaski, shovel, water tanks and axes. It also secures a Rigid light bar in place and doubles as a mobile lookout tower. Also on board around the new Bronco rig are a pair of hard hats, a chainsaw, a Hi-Lift jack and a drip torch.
The Wildland Fire Rig also gets a few general updates, starting with the Ford Performance modular steel bumper with embedded Warn winch up front. A soft-top crafted from Filson’s fireproof ripstop nylon covers over a cabin trimmed in Filson otter green duck canvas, while the seats are finished in Filson jacket-inspired quilted black leather with Bronco embossings. A CB radio hangs from the instrument panel mount, and a Filson-brass Bronco logo shimmers from the center of the steering wheel.
We expected to hear news about Ford/Filson auctioning the fully upgraded Bronco rig off to raise money, but instead they will rely on a line of co-branded outdoor gear for that. Ford also intends to donate two actual Bronco four-doors modeled after the Wildland Fire Rig to firefighting organizations.