MOUNTAIN rescue volunteers were pelted with fireworks and 15 drunken revellers had to be rescued during a weekend of Hallowe'en madness on Pendle Hill.

The fireworks were hurled as the rescuers were sheltering with their search dog by a wall at Pendle House Farm at about 9pm yesterday.

The two men and the animal were uninjured but were left shocked and distressed by the assault. Mountain rescue bosses slammed the yobs' stupidity - and that of the 15 people who had to be rescued after getting stranded early on Sunday.

Andy Simpson, of Pendle and Rossendale Mountain Rescue Team, said: "This was a totally disgusting attack on people who were out trying to help others.

"For these men, who are volunteers who give their time to save lives, to be treated like this is absolutely appalling."

Rescuers said today the incident involving drunken revellers could easily have proved fatal because of the group's "foolhardy" actions.

One of the group called police on a mobile phone to say they were unable to make their way off the hill.

The police helicopter, which costs £500 an hour to operate, ambulances and the mountain rescue team were scrambled.

Rescue teams escorted four of the party of 15, some of whom had been drinking, from the hill and carried one girl on a stretcher as she was unable to walk.

Dave Barrington, from the mountain rescue team, said: "Some of these people had been drinking and put lives in danger.

"We are not in the business of stopping people enjoying themselves, but they must be sensible. This group did not have the proper equipment for a night out of doors in the sort of weather we had over the weekend and they could easily have caught hypothermia."

Inspector Martin Hall, of Burnley police, said: "We received a call at shortly after midnight from one of the party who said some of the group were drunk or injured and because of their condition could not make their way off the hill."

A police spokesman said: "In view of the resources put in to dealing with this incident we would advise people to make sure they are properly equipped when they go out of doors."