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This paper describes an scheme for automatic forest surveillance. A complete system for forest fire detection is firstly presented although we focus on infrared image processing. The proposed scheme based on infrared image processing performs early detection of any fire threat. With the aim of determining the presence or absence of fire, the proposed algorithms performs the fusion of different detectors which exploit different expected characteristics of a real fire, like persistence and increase. Theoretical results and practical simulations are presented to corroborate the control of the system related with probability of false alarm (PFA). Probability of detection (PD) dependence on signal to noise ration (SNR) is also evaluated.