VENTURA, Calif. - A large portion of a wall dating back to the mission era and the 1800s is now visible thanks to the Thomas Fire.
The burn area revealed large portions of the mission wall that had been buried beneath the Ventura Botanical Gardens for at least a century.
The gardens sit on the hillside behind the San Buenaventura Mission and Ventura City Hall.
The Thomas Fire came dangerously close to both the first morning of the firefight.
Archeologists and other scientists could always see a bit of the wall didn't know how much remained hidden until now.
California State University Channel Islands' Environmental Science Chair Sean Anderson, Ph.D. said, "There's lots of stuff to be depressed about this fire, it's really cool to have something like this find behind the Mission that is positive and upbeat. This find is going to tell use more about who we are, more about how we started as a people here in Ventura County."
Repairs to the garden are already underway.
"l live next door the gardens," said Bennett Collings who saw the Thomas Fire engulf the gardens" after evacuating.
The botanist with the Ventura Botanical Gardens toured the area on his golf cart and said is working to bring the scorched plants back to life.
He believes the wall will become an exhibit.
Fr. Tom Elewaut's staff at the San Buenaventura Mission said he was under the weather and could not comment, but they said there is a buzz about the discovery at the Mission in the midst of Christmas celebrations.