From Middle English balefire, from Old English bǣlfȳr (“balefire, funeral or sacrificial fire”), equivalent to bale + fire.
balefire (plural balefires)
- an outdoor fire, such as pyre, bonfire, signal fire, asf.
2002, Marilyn F. Daniel, Kitchen Witchery, Weiser, ISBN 9781578631896, page 236:
- Rites done on a lakeshore or seashore can be illuminated with balefires of dried driftwood collected prior to the rite.