Section 11. A town may appropriate money for the prevention of forest fires to an amount not exceeding one tenth of one per cent of its equalized valuation as defined in section one of chapter forty-four. Every such town with a valuation of one million seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars or less which appropriates and expends money, with the approval of the director of the division of forests and parks in the department of environmental management, for apparatus to be used in preventing or extinguishing forest fires, or for making protective belts or zones and building or maintaining water holes or cisterns for fire protection purposes as a defense against forest fires, shall, upon the recommendation of said director, approved by the governor, receive from the commonwealth a sum equal to one half of the said expenditure; but no town shall receive more than five hundred dollars. A sum not exceeding ten thousand dollars may annually be expended by the commonwealth for this purpose. Whenever it has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of said director that such equipment has been destroyed or has become unfit for use, the town shall be reimbursed by the commonwealth one half the cost of replacing the same; provided that the amount paid to any one town in any one year shall not exceed one hundred dollars. All equipment purchased under this section shall be in the custody and care of the town forest warden. Said director or his deputies may inspect such equipment at such times as they may deem necessary.