Over 20 years ago, I was a volunteer firefighter in a small nearby community for 18 years. For 9 of those years, I was the Operations Officer which included being the videographer/photographer. I moved into a neighboring district, which is incidentally, my home town. I never got back into the fire service, but have continued my photography passion. Now I'm into drones, and got my Part 107 certification. Recently, I was in a position to witness an out of control grass fire, that had surrounded the house and had gotten into some of the outbuildings. The incident command was the district in which I now live, and I know the chief and many of the firefighters quite well. I could see that an aerial view would be beneficial, but wasn't going to fly without permission of the command officer. I did talk to the now chief of the department I'd been on years ago. He rightly told me he couldn't authorize it, since it wasn't his scene, and he didn't attempt to talk to the scene commander. I wasn't about to walk into the smoke and activity of an active fire, to get permission. So I departed the area, without flying. Now, I'm considering talking to the chiefs of the 3 nearby towns, about volunteering my services as I'm available to recon fires, rescues and searches. I would think some sort of written authorization would be in order, in case a law enforcement officer questions me, and for liability purposes. My purpose of this story, is to put this idea out there for comment, advice or cautions. One thing I've thought of is night fires. I know it's against the rules to fly at night, and not even sure if a blanket waiver is possible for night flying. At this point, I don't have any way to be dispatched, so this would only occur, if I happened to be aware of these calls.