Claire Harbage

There's a forgotten history that should serve as a warning — wildfire isn't unique to the West.

Now the warming climate is increasing the risk of major wildfires across America. And more people are moving to fire-prone areas without realizing the danger.

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Updated at 6:47 a.m. ET

Pro-Trump extremists stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday, halting the Electoral College certification and sending the U.S. Capitol into lockdown.

In a year dominated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the virus' massive disruptions did not signal an end to other major events. Conflicts continued, resumed and broke out. Natural disasters upended lives. Attempts at peace bore some fruit. The Brexit transition continued. And around the world, protesters came into the streets to demand greater freedoms and an end to racial injustice.

Here is a look back at some of the key events that took place outside the United States and helped define this tumultuous year.

Cross the treeless, frozen tundra of southwest Alaska, over ice-covered lakes and ponds near the Bering Sea, and you'll find the first community in the U.S. counted for the 2020 census.

2019 has become known as a year of protest. But this year does not exist in isolation: Protests have been emblematic of the entire past decade.

The 2010s began with the Arab Spring and Occupy protests, and are ending with a swell of anti-government demonstrations in India, Iraq, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Latin America, parts of Europe and beyond. The middle years likewise were marked by major protests on multiple continents, from Iran to Ukraine, South Korea, Zimbabwe and Greece.

The quiet of the late-winter morning is interrupted by a staccato of gunshots.

"Military drills," shrugs Kim Seung-ho, 58, the director of the DMZ Ecology Research Institute, a nonprofit organization that does research on the wildlife in the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, which is the border area between North and South Korea. A thick blanket of fog seeps over the forested hills on this late-winter morning as Kim stands, searching the horizon for birds, on the bank of the Imjin River just north of Paju, South Korea.