During the last decades, femtosecond laser irradiation of materials has led to the emergence of various applications based on functionalization of surfaces at the nano- and microscale. Via inducing a periodic modification on material surfaces (band gap modification, nanostructure formation, crystallization or amorphization), optical and mechanical properties can be tailored, thus turning femtosecond laser to a key technology for development of nanophotonics, bionanoengineering, and nanomechanics. Although modification of semiconductor surfaces with femtosecond laser pulses has been studied for more than two decades, the dynamics of coupling of intense laser light with excited matter remains incompletely understood. In particular, swift formation of a transient overdense electron-hole plasma dynamically modifies optical properties in the material surface layer and induces large gradients of hot charge carriers, resulting in ultrafast charge-transport phenomena. In this work, the dynamics of ultrafast laser excitation of a semiconductor material is studied theoretically on the example of silicon. A special attention is paid to the electron-hole pair dynamics, taking into account ambipolar diffusion effects. The results are compared with previously developed simulation models, and a discussion of the role of charge-carrier dynamics in localization of material modification is provided.