James Norman Diehl, 80, a retired director of the division of cooperative forest fire control in the U.S. Forest Service, died of cardiac arrest June 3 at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Norman, who lived in Washington, was born in Spring City, Pa. He graduated from Pennsylvania State College in 1924 and joined the Forest Service in Pennsylvania in that year.

Subsequently, he worked in national forests in Virginia, Montana, Missouri and elsewhere. He was stationed in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1952 when he was transferred to Forest Service headquarters in Washington. He retired in 1963.

Mr. Diehl was a member of the National Eagle Scout Association and remained active in scouting for many years. He also was a Mason and a member of the National Presbyterian Church, where he was a volunteer guide.

His marriage to the former Josephine Wilken ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Ann Rutherford Diehl of Washington; three children by his first marriage, James Milton Diehl of Oscoda, Mich., Blanche Marie Culloden of Manhattan Beach, Calif., and Bonnie Diehl Ryan of Big Bear Lake, Calif; three sisters, Mary Jane Leopardi of Reseda, Calif., and Anne E. and Blanche E. Diehl, both of Spring City, and one grandchild.