Interpretation of spatial and time resolved images of rear surface ns laser damage in dielectrics requires understanding of the dynamic interaction of the incoming laser beam with the confined expanding plasma in the material. The detailed kinetics of the plasma, involving both expansion and retraction, depends on details of reflection and absorption in the hot material. The growth of the hot region is treated using a model previously developed to understand laser peening. The pressure is found to scale as the square root of laser intensity and drops off slowly after energy deposition is complete. For the conditions of our experimental observations in fused silica, our model predicts a pressure of about 9 GPa and a surface expansion velocity of about 1.5 km/sec, in good agreement with experimental observation.