Blackfeet Firefighter Returns to Montana Posthumously

Dec 5, 2016

The body of a veteran Blackfeet firefighter has been returned to Montana from North Carolina.

Darryl "Poor Boy" Vielle died Nov. 30 in his hotel room in Robbinsville, North Carolina. He was 51. His cause of death has not been determined. 

The Missoulian reports Vielle's mother and four sons were among those who attended a ceremony Sunday when his flag-draped casket arrived at the Missoula Smokejumpers Base. His body was to be returned to Browning on Monday.

The Blackfeet Tribe says Vielle had 28 years of firefighting experience. He was in North Carolina leading an eight-man crew supporting firefighters battling a blaze in Great Smoky Mountains National Park when he died.  The tribe said Vielle's crew dispensed, distributed and inventoried supplies at the fire camp.

Val Norman, who oversaw the crew, said the crew’s performance was "exceptional, showing diligence in all aspects of their assignments."